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How will artificial intelligence (AI) change media? What new opportunities can AI create for democracy? And what conditions need to be fulfilled for these things to happen? For research in this field, the UvA, HvA and CWI launched the AI, Media & Democracy Lab.

Since the beginning of 2021, researchers from the University of Amsterdam (UivA), Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) will collaborate with media partners, societal partners and the municipality of Amsterdam in the new AI, Media & Democracy Lab.

The AI, Media & Democracy Lab focuses on how AI and digital technology are transforming media and democracy. To this end, the lab will bring together fundamental and applied research in the fields of law, ethics, communication science, media studies and computer science.

The researchers will tackle specific issues surrounding the use of AI in the media, such as:

  • ways to develop more people-oriented and diverse systems
  • the possible role of chatbots in news provision

In addition, they and the various partners in the lab will think about what the media of tomorrow should look like.

Professional ethics, law and fundamental rights

AI plays an increasingly important role in the creation and distribution of news: from smart tools that help journalists produce their stories to fully automated news story production, and from audience profiling that informs editorial decisions to AI-driven news recommendation systems.

Debates about filter bubbles, privacy, the role of big tech, editorial independence and the datafication of journalistic values and fundamental rights touch on the legal, ethical, social and democratic implications that the use of AI in the media can have. Professional ethics, law and fundamental rights can play an important role in this transformation. The lab will collaborate on news recommendation and the development of methods of measurement that can contribute to a more diverse and inclusive public space and an informed society. 

Copyright: Natali Helberger
As a media city, Amsterdam is the perfect base for our lab. Natali Helberger, professor Law and Digital Technology

Media city Amsterdam

Professor Law and Digital Technology Natali Helberger says: ‘As a media city, Amsterdam is the perfect base for our lab: the combination of practice, theory and groundbreaking research enables us to stimulate AI-driven innovation, build knowledge and create opportunities in a sector that is uniquely connected to the functioning of our democracy.’